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Madison Square Garden’s Earnings Rise Despite Lack of Linsanity

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Madison Square Garden’s Earnings Rise Despite Lack of Linsanity

The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG) beat the 22 cents average quarterly earnings forecast of analysts, after reporting a significant increase in net income of 36 cents per share of $28.6 million. The result is considerably higher than its $8.5 million, or 11 cents per share during the fourth quarter in 2011.

Based on the financial statement of the company, its outstanding earnings performance was driven by its entertainment and sports business.

Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG)’s revenue from its sports business during the fourth quarter surged by 74 percent to $131.2 million, compared with its $75.4 million revenue during the same period last year. According to the company, the result was positively impacted by the increase in the number of home playoff games of New York Rangers and New York Knicks.

According to Reuters, Former New York Knicks player, Jeremy Lin, helped pack the Knicks games at the Garden last season, because of his popularity. His fans admired his clutch shooting and passing skills, and they are following him everywhere. The “linsanity” following helped Madison Square Garden negotiate a profitable transaction with Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC).

Its revenue from MSG Entertainment climbed by 41percent to $50.8 million compared with its $36 million revenue during the same period a year ago. The increase was attributed to higher events in its New York venues.

The company said its revenue from MSG Media increased by 20 percent to $167 million during the fourth quarter, compared with the $139.6 million revenue recorded during the same period a year ago. The company’s revenue from Affiliate Fees was $19.5 million, advertising revenue $3.7 million.

During the company’s earnings conference call, Hank Rankner, president and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG), announced the completion of its acquisition of the Forum, located in Inglewood, California. According to him, the Forum will serve as an iconic venue  in the west coast, and it will provide strategic financial opportunity for the company.

In a statement, Rankner said, “Our Company had an impressive year as the ongoing strength of our fully integrated media, entertainment, and sports business drove record AOCF for fiscal 2012. The second phase of the Arena Transformation is progressing well, and we look forward to the debut of the transformed upper bowl this fall. Looking ahead, we remain confident that the breadth and strength of our assets and brands position us well for long-term growth and value creation for our shareholders.”

Bryan Goldberg, analyst from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch, maintained a neutral rating for MSG stock. The research firm cited the upside flow-through from higher media affiliate fees, could partially offset by higher than expected Fuse spending, and its estimate for 2014 for sports adjusted operating cash flow growth (AOCF) maybe hampered by higher payroll and revenue sharing.

Madison Square Garden’s stock was rising earlier this year due to the Knick’s former star Jeremy Lin. The phenomenon became known as Linsanity. However, it seems the Knicks and MSG are doing alright.

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